Tag Archives: London

Gail Austen – Citizen Science: What Makes An Expert?

On Wednesday 2nd March we’re pleased to have Gail Austen speaking about the important and evolving  role of citizen science.

Gail is studying towards a PhD in Biodiversity Management at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent. She has an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity from Imperial College, having been swayed by the course being hosted at the Natural History Museum, where she also volunteered. Prior to this (overlooking a stint in finance), she worked for a Local Records Centre and become involved in local conversation, including spending the last six years as Chair of the Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group (KRAG). Gail has a passion for UK wildlife and is an advocate of amateur naturalists and citizen science.

Gail_Austen-Price

It is generally accepted that there has been a decline in field biology skills, with some drawing a parallel between the ability to identify flora and fauna with ‘traditional country skills’. There are a number of specialists concerned with the naming and cataloguing of live, dead, extant and extinct specimens, both as part of their job and in a recreational capacity. However, there have been questions raised over the accuracy of the data collected in a ‘non-scientific’ manner, but in order to answer questions about the natural world, the reliance on citizen science and volunteer collected data is increasing.  Using established methods used in face recognition studies in psychology, my research investigates accuracy in visual species identification, what makes an expert, and whether we can improve these skill sets as a legacy for generations to come.

Join us from 6pm for a 7pm start at the Old King’s Head, near London Bridge station. As usual, the event is free, but we will have a whip-round to cover costs – we hope to see you there!

PUBSCI NEWS

New venue for monthly PubSci

After nearly two years of PubSci in the Upstairs bar at the Ritzy in Brixton, we have decided to move on. The Ritzy was a great place to run the events thanks to the helpful staff, but noise from the downstairs bar was an ongoing issue and we are moving on in search of slightly quieter pastures (we were also keen to find a venue with more ales than lagers).

The new venue for PubSci is the Albert Arms, which is a traditional boozer (with some proper beers) located in Southwark, just a short walk from Elephant & Castle tube.

The Albert Arms. Photo by Ewan-M

Starting with a BANG!

The first event at the Albert will be Claire Benson telling the stories of fire and explosions from the 19th century that captured imaginations, changed the face of the planet and the very way we see the cosmos.

So, if you want to know how spontaneous combustion led to the London Fire Brigade creation, how explosives actually saved many lives, and how the development of 1 small piece of laboratory equipment lead to us understanding the very makeup and expansion of the universe, then join us at 6:30pm on Monday 14th January (yes, the day before the pub quiz – our last event in Brixton).

We hope you like the new venue!

January PubSci: Pub Quiz

Science Pub Quiz

Happy New Year from PubSci! We will be starting 2013 with another sciencey pub quiz on Tuesday 15th January.

Darwin-pub-quiz

Doors of the Upstairs Bar of the Brixton Ritzy will open at 7:30pm for an 8pm start, so bring your brains and gather your team members (max of 5 per team) for a mixed bag of science, pseudoscience and sci-fi questions.

We will be asking for £2 per person to go into the prize pot, so be prepared and spread the word – the more people that come, the bigger the the prize!

December PubSci: Festive Pub Trip

On Wednesday 19th December we’re having a change of venue and going for a trip to the lovely King’s Arms pub near London Bridge.

It’ll be a chance for some science-flavoured socialising over some real ales in a traditional London boozer. Drop in from 6pm onward!

By the way, you can check out Palaeosam’s write-up of November’s PubSci here.

November PubSci: Museums and Science

Why museum collections are vital to life on Earth

On Tuesday 20th November we will have museum curator and regular PubSci host Paolo Viscardi talking about museum collections and their value to science, society and species survival.

Continue reading

September PubSci: Physics Special

Symmetry, singularities & string theory

On Tuesday 18th September we will have PubSci regular Dr. John Hamilton guiding us on a tour of why physicists always bang on about symmetry, and how it fits in to theoretical physics.

A simulated event in the CMS detector, a collision in which a micro black hole may be created.

You may have encountered John if you’ve been to PubSci  before, he’s the one who has clearly explained the answers to really interesting questions like “what are the LHC and the Higgs Boson all about?” and “what does it mean if neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light?”

John will be talking mainly about symmetry, touching on singularities and string theory (and why it’s probably wrong) along with all sorts of exciting concepts that we’ve heard about thanks to the enthusiastic outpourings of Prof. Brian Cox.

In short, it’ll be an evening of really complicated science made really interesting and understandable. Plus beer.

So why not join us at the Brixton Ritzy Upstairs Bar from 18:45ish for food, drink and a chat, ready for an 19:45ish start?

Oh yes, and as always it’s free!

PubSci SciPubQuiz

Science (Quiz) in the Pub

For December’s Science In The Pub there will be a science-themed pub quiz hosted by Kash Farooq and James Longstaff. The usual PubSci hosts Paolo and James get a night off – as they will be taking part in the quiz.

And, thanks to our good friends at the British Science Association, there will be some appropriately geeky/sciencey prizes that we will dish out as we see fit!

We suggest that you form teams of 3 or 4 people. Don’t worry if you don’t have have enough people – just turn up. We’re a friendly bunch and we’re sure we can get everyone into a team.

It might also be a good idea to “mix disciplines” when forming a team – each round will have questions from various areas of science. We’ve been busy thinking up questions for a few weeks now and have come up with a fairly wide variety.

To give you a clue of the sort of questions to expect, here are the categories we came up when we were thinking up questions:

  • Chemistry
  • Scientists
  • Geology
  • Astronomy/Space
  • Physics
  • Biology

See you on Tuesday 6th December from 7:30, upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy!